3 Wood Vs 5 Wood Distance (Best Club Explained)

3 and 5 wood golf clubs inside bag


Differences Between a 3 Wood and 5 Wood

The following are some differences between a 3 wood and a 5 wood golf club. These differences are worth keeping in mind when you’re trying to make a decision on which fairway wood you should be buy.

  • 3 wood is a better option than a 5 wood if you want to hit shots off the tee or reach par 5s in twos. In the latter case, you might want to consider using a 3 wood with a shallow head.
  • 3 wood is more suitable than a 5 wood if you’re looking for a golf club that offers a low trajectory and because of its lower loft, lets the ball travel a fairly long distance.
  • 3 wood is preferable over a 5 wood if you’re looking for a fairway wood that delivers a better ball flight.
  • 3 wood is worth giving a try if you tend to lose shots to your right because it closes the clubface due to its bigger size. On the other hand, a 5 wood is helpful if you tend to lose shots to your left because it closes the clubface. This is for right-handed players and is the reverse for left-handers.
  • 5 woods are usually easier to hit off the turf with more solid shots than a 3 wood because of its higher loft and short size.
  • 5 wood is better than a 3 wood if you want a golf club that makes the ball launch higher on the course and off the deck.
  • 5 woods are ideal for playing on tight holes, holes with narrow fairways or the rough when compared to using a 3 wood because of the smaller head.
  • 5 wood is preferred over a 3 wood as a replacement for long irons. You can consider using a 5 wood in place of a 2 iron due to the ease in hitting. On the other hand, a 3 iron may make a good substitute to your driver for the same reason.


What is a 3 Wood Used For?

The main reason to use a 3 wood is that the golf club helps players achieve ideal carry distance; without compromising on accuracy. Being that a 3 wood is a very versatile club that is also affordable; the club is great value for money.  

  • A 3 wood golf club is used to gain good control over ball flight.
  • The club also helps to retain the consistency of the shot when playing a game.
  • Golfers may use a 3 wood to cover 210 yards when they encounter a par 4.
  • The 3 wood assists you to hit the ball a long way off the ground.
  • It’s suitable when you’re trying to hit off the tee shots on narrow holes.

The golf club is especially worth using when you want to place the golf ball on a fairway. It’s also suitable if you have a better game and avoid slices with woods when compared to hybrids.


What is a 5 wood used for?

Just like the 3 wood, there are many reasons to like the 5 wood golf clubs. A 5 wood can be used to get the ball really high up into the air.

The 5 wood is also useful for golfers who wish to drop the ball softly on the green. It helps players when they want to hit at least 3-4 times per round on tight or short holes.

This 5W golf club is beneficial for those who want a power fade and is very versatile off the turf.

The club can assist golfers in achieving a carry distance of 210 to 225 yards when playing on short par 4s, long par 3s and second shots on par 5s.

It’s also a great option for hitting off and from the fairways, off the deck, from the rough as well as over the trees but still want to cover a lot of distance.

I find the 5 wood to be a very forgiving club and have seen many players choose it when looking for an alternative to their 2 iron or hybrid.

The 5 wood is also a great option for players who want a single golf club to achieve towering fades, punch cuts and high draws, as well as render good descent dispersion. 


3 Wood Vs 5 Wood Distance

There is a reasonable difference in distance between a 3 wood and 5 wood. The 3 wood has an average distance of 210 yards, which helps golfers achieve more distance than the 170 yards of a 5 wood.

The actual distance depends on several factors such as whether you’re a male or a female player. It also varies based on whether you’re a professional or an amateur as well as if you’re a short, medium or a long hitter.

Other factors that determine the distance are your height, swing speed, ball type used, fitness level and how well you’re capable of hitting the ball.

  • Amateur male short, mid and long hitters achieve average distances of 188, 215 and 234 yards respectively when using a 3 wood. The distances with a 5 wood for the same players are 170, 195 and 213 yards in the same order.
  • Amateur short, mid and long female hitters playing with 3 wood cover distances of 122, 151 and 188 yards respectively. Their corresponding distances with a 5 wood are 111, 137 and 170 yards.


Does a 3 Wood or 5 Wood Go Further?

The answer to the above question is a 3 wood. However, the exact distance depends on the player’s clubhead speed and how effectively he/she strikes the ball. The distance is generally around 20 yards more with a 3 wood when compared to using a 5 wood when playing off the tee.

In some cases, the distance is slightly lesser at 15 yards or a little more at 25 yards. However, there are golfers who have found that both golf clubs render the same distance when they play off the ground.


3 Wood Vs 5 Wood Degree of Loft

As a general rule, the wood with the higher number has a higher loft. Hence, the loft of a 3 wood is lesser than the loft of a 5 wood.

The actual lofts of a 3 wood and a 5 wood tend to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Often, a 3 wood has a loft ranging between 15 degrees and 18 degrees. In contrast, the loft of a 5 wood lies between 20 degrees and 22 degrees.

It’s worth noting that 3 woods are available with lesser lofts of 13 degrees because of the preferences of many players.

Similarly, you can also buy 5 woods with lesser lofts between 17 degrees and 19 degrees. There are manufacturers who offer their 3 woods with 14 degrees loft and 5 woods with 22 degrees loft.


Differences in Shaft Length

A fairway wood with a high number has a short shaft length. As a result, 3 wood has a bigger size than a 5 wood. This is irrespective of the fact that the actual size of the golf clubs varies from one manufacturer to another.

It’s also worth noting that like iron golf clubs, the fairway wood golf clubs for male players are bigger than the fairway wood clubs for female players. This difference is however very little and is only 0.25 inches.

On average, the size of a 3 wood of a male golfer is 42.50 inches. The corresponding size for a woman’s golf club is 42.25 inches.

Similarly, a 5 wood for a male player is usually sized at 41.50 inches. The equivalent 5 wood for a woman golfer is 41.25 inches.

Thomas Golf offers its 3 wood that has a stainless steelhead with a length of 44 inches. The 5 wood counterpart comes in a size of 43 inches.


Is a 3 Wood Bigger than a 5 Wood?

Yes, a 3 wood is always bigger than a 5 wood. However, the sizes tend to change among manufacturers. But, all of them offer their 3 woods at sizes larger than 5 woods.

The 3 wood is also the longest fairway wood in a player’s golf bag.

Most 3 woods come with a size ranging between 42 and 43 inches. On the other hand, the length of the 5 wood is often between 41 and 42 inches.



The 3 wood and 5 wood both have the advantages that make them suitable for different purposes. One of the reasons that players opt for a 3 wood is because they find it quite versatile and offer a great combination of accuracy and distance.

On the other hand, golfers struggling with their 2 iron (long iron) will find using a 5 wood a good alternative.

 It’s worth bearing in mind that while some players use both a 3 wood and 5 wood, a few of them opt for only one of them depending on which club gives them the best results.

You can also find players who are not comfortable with either of these golf clubs. Such golfers opt for a 4 wood that they feel gives better results and covers the flaws that they encounter when using a 3 wood or a 5 wood.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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